Bridgestone is adding its voice to the debate on the MOT test and is urging the government to rethink the proposed changes, which could come into force in 2012.
The changes would mean that the interval between MOT tests would be doubled, extending the test periods from the current 3-1-1 to 4-2-2.
However, critics say there are potential negative implications of the change and already industry bodies such as TyreSafe and NTDA have called for a no change to the MOT test on safety grounds.
Andy Dingley, communications manager at Bridgestone UK, said: “We know that a large proportion of motorists do not check their tyres regularly and the MOT has proven to be very effective in highlighting tyre problems.
“The decision to change the MOT interval to two years throws up a lot of issues, primarily the inevitable increase in mileage between tyre checks.
“As it stands, tyres only have to pass a tread depth check of 1.6mm on the day and even if the test technician feels the tyres are marginal pass all they can do is advise the customer that they need to be changed in the near future.”
If the proposed changes go through then potentially the opportunity to check tyres will be significantly reduced, leading to a greater number of unsafe tyres on the road, says Bridgestone.
Dingley added: “Given the fact that a significant proportion of motorists tend to buy tyres only when they need to could mean that the number of illegally worn tyres on the road could increase dramatically.
“This could reduce the ability of many vehicles to deal with the varied British weather conditions and even make the owner likely to fail a police spot check which of course incurs a large fine and penalty points.
“We feel that the money saving motivation behind this change is completely overshadowed by the safety issues it would create.”